X marks the spot to see Lakes District Secondary School’s production of Treasure Island

Lakes District Secondary School students are hoping local residents will support their upcoming production of 'Treasure Island'.

Helen Hobbs

Helen Hobbs

Pirates, eye patches, treasure maps, gold coins and of course a well constructed pirate ship.

Add to this the Lakes District Secondary School (LDSS) senior theatre and dance classes and you have a  stage spectacular that should not be missed.

The LDSS students are hoping that local residents will support their upcoming production of ‘Treasure Island’ by coming along to see all the swashbuckling action.

The LDSS production is a Ken Ludwig adaptation of the 1883 Robert Louis Stevenson classic and according to LDSS drama teacher Rayanne Charlie it has been a community effort to bring it to fruition.

The set is spectacular and is centered on a large wooden pirate ship that was constructed from the ground up by LDSS wood shop teacher Dirk Hofer.

The pirate ship is complete with functioning rope ladders, under deck cabin style rooms, a tall mast and sails.

“He really went to town when he was making the pirate ship,” said Charlie.

“He was like a kid with a new toy. He really worked hard on it … Dirk is a perfectionist.”

According to Charlie, the pirate ship was built at the school by Hofer, along with the help of some of his students. It is so big, that sections of the ship were stored at Lakes District Maintenance until it was able to be brought back to the LDSS stage and put together.

Charlie said the cast and crew have been working on the production since September last year. “We had to wait for the stage to be cleared before we could move the pirate ship back to the school, as we had another play to wrap up,” she said.

“Dirk volunteered to do everything from cutting down the trees for the ship to debarking the wood.”

Art teacher, Steve Wilejto and his students also pitched in. Wilejto drew a large treasure map on a sheet of canvas, which has been painted by students. The map will be used as a backdrop. Teacher and production technical director, Walt van der Kamp and his students are also working on the technical aspects, including sound and lighting.

Support staff member Helen Hobbs has been hard at work as stage manager and designer and clerical staff member Ruby Matsko has also pitched in to organize props.

“All LDSS departments are joining in and helping which is nice,” Charlie said.

Local businesses have also pitched in with props.

Waterbridge Equipment Ltd. donated the ropes and rope ladders used on the pirate ship and the Decker Lake Trading Post donated sails and a few other small items.

“We want to build up the community’s enthusiasm and have them come out and see the production,” Charlie said, adding that it is not going to be just another high school play. “There is really some depth to it,” she said.

“The key to understanding Treasure Island is to recognize that the story is not just a ‘swashbuckler’, though it is certainly that. It is primarily a story about a boy growing up. It’s a story about all of us finding out who we are. The relationship between Jim Hawkins and John Silver is a love story of genuine emotional depth. We care about these emotional souls from the moment we meet them [on stage] and watch their relationship grow with an almost breathless anticipation. Will they become friend or foe?”

The production will run over four nights from Feb.1 – 4, 2012 on the LDSS main stage. Shows start at 7 p.m., and feature students; Riley Coulson and Chelsea Davies as Jim Hawkins, Ekaterina Rohrer as Long John Silver, Ashley Saul as Squire Trelawney, Rebecca Hennessy as Capt. Smith and Quinn Hawse as George Merry.

Contact LDSS at 250-692-7733 for more information about tickets, but be quick to avoid disappointment.